The Verse’s Simon England shares his thoughts on Eagulls live performance and the band’s new material.
First up were local trio Traams. Even though they’ve been active for a few years, this was the first time that I’ve caught them live. I’d pretty much instantly regretted this as they were great and made a wonderful racket reminiscent of Future of the Left. Their sound incorporated the bass and lead guitar in equal billing and merged them into a heavy post punk sound. Next time they’re touring I’ll have to make it to one of their solo shows.
Next up were Protomartyr, all the way from Detroit. Bit of a let-down really as the first couple of songs were just straight up radio-friendly rock in the vein of Kings of Leon. Really couldn’t make my mind up about them, but they started to get a bit more interesting when their singer’s voice morphed more into The Fall’s Mark E Smith and their sound became a bit rougher. Unfortunately I was actually a bit bored during their set.
Luckily my boredom didn’t last long. You could tell the moment they strutted on stage that Eagulls were the rightful headliners. Dark lighting, gloomy synths and guitar hooks with a singer evoking The Cure’s Robert Smith. So far, so alternative 80s nostalgia. They are however so much more than a Cure or Smiths tribute band – I feel that, live, they really come to life. There is some much energy flowing between the band and the audience that a mosh pit begins almost as soon as the second note is played on guitar and last the whole set.
Eagulls are on tour to showcase their 2nd album Ullages, which also happens to be an anagram of their name. This record is a progression of the sound honed on their debut self-titled album. On the second album, live in particular, their sound is beefed up a bit, but the melodies and angst remain as strong as ever.
Not really interacting with the crowd during songs, the band let the music do the talking. The set was a mix of both albums which flowed well together. Particular highlights from the new album included Skipping and Velvet. Earlier material played included a raucous version of Nerve Endings and Possessed, which they ended on. Although I am a fan of their recorded output, they definitely are one of those bands that do need to be experienced live.